This is where you pick the team or player who can cover their handicap (or beat their spread). In the case of esports, the handicap usually comes in the forms of points or rounds a team must win by (or can lose by).
Like the moneyline, favourites are indicated by a minus like “-1.5” while the underdogs have a plus like “+1.5”.
The minus and plus numbers don’t indicate the odds of winning, however. It shows how many rounds or points the team or player is favoured by.
An alternative to the moneyline where you pick the winner, straight-up, the point spread is where you choose who covers their handicap:
- Favourite -1.5
- Underdog +1.5
This means the favourite will be subtracted 1.5 rounds (or points) from their final tally. If they win by two rounds, they cover because their final total doesn’t go below zero (a losing tally).
Consequently, the underdog will be added 1.5 rounds (or points) from their final result. If they lose by one round, adding 1.5 rounds will push their result to a winning one.
And like the moneyline, there are odds on each team’s probability to “beat the spread” (cover their handicap).
If the favourite is lined at -185 to cover -1.5, this means you need to bet $185 to win $100 only if the favourite wins by 1.5 rounds or more (rounded up to 2).